Author: Dmytro Spilka
The U.K. has always been a place of great opportunity for entrepreneurs from all around the world.
While the political landscape of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland may have been subject to seismic shifts in recent years that has added uncertain elements to the process of setting up a business as a non-EU immigrant, there’s still plenty of cause for optimism at making a startup work on U.K. shores.
In fact, the Department for International Trade proudly states that corporation tax in the United Kingdom is still the lowest of the world’s 20 largest economies. It also presents the fewest barriers to entrepreneurship on the planet, taking as little as 48 hours to formally register a company.
Of course, this isn’t to say that setting up a business in the U.K. as a non-EU immigrant doesn’t come with obstacles to overcome before you can start gathering those customers and tracking profit margins. Here are three of the biggest hurdles that you’ll face when coming to the United Kingdom to build a startup.
1. Immigration and vetting
While you do not need to be a citizen to start a business in the U.K., you will need to hold a valid visa for your status as an entrepreneur upon entry into the country.
The most appropriate visa for your position as a business owner would be the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. Fortunately, this level of visa is held in the highest regard and works on a points-based system.
Despite uncertainties over the future of non-domestic working visas and the freedom of businesses to trade with Europe, last year’s immigration statistics showed a 13 percent rise in applications for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa — which goes some way in illustrating the international confidence in the U.K. economy. However, the rejection rates for applicants stands at around 42 percent.
It’s imperative to get your visa application right to ensure that you have the best chance of being granted the right to run a business in the U.K., so let’s take a more in-depth look at some of the issues that entrepreneurs face.
The level of vetting exerted by the U.K. Home Office is meticulous. Any supporting documents that accompany your demand must be officially certified originals and not copies. You must also refrain from any ambiguity in your answers while completing your submission.